Independent senators and TDs launched a campaign yesterday (March 23) calling on the Taoiseach “not to cancel Easter”, as no evidence has been shown to support a ban on Masses.
In a statement outside the Dail yesterday, Senator Sharon Keogan said: “Easter is the high point of the Christian year, and for the government to tell thousands of church-going people of Ireland, ‘No, you can’t celebrate it this year’, I think would require very strong, evidence-based justification, which they simply don’t have.”
The Meath senator continued, adding that “it appears there is no legal basis for preventing public worship”.
“Today in the High Court, Declan Ganley’s case against the Government’s stance on religious public worship has been adjourned until 13 April until lawyers for the State can consult with the government to check whether the ban they’re in court defending actually exists or not!”
Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín also attended the launch, decrying the confusion over the “ridiculous situation” where a priest was fined €500 for holding a public Mass.
He and Senator Keogan both called for a relaxation of the “cruel” restrictions to 10 people at a funeral.
“Funerals are incredibly difficult at the best of times but in Covid they are a disaster for many,” Mr Tóibín said. “At the moment, attendance at a funeral, even for a family member can be a lottery.”